Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     591 posts


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Once sitting before Him, the following thoughts rose in my mind with great force and were running repeatedly for a long time: ‘Do not argue on controversial points of philosophy or read too much of
philosophical books.’
‘Silently practise either vichara or dhyanam’
(meditation).
‘Do not do anything which you know to be wrong.’

Some of Bhagavan’s personal instructions to me were:
(i) If you observe the breathing one-pointedly, such attention will lead you into kumbhaka (retention), which is jnana pranayama.
(ii) The more you humble yourself, the better it is for you.
(iii) You should look upon the world only as a dream.
(iv) Except attending to the duty-work in life, the rest of the time should be spent in atma nishta (absorption in the Self).
(v) Do not cause slightest hindrance or disturbance to others.
(vi) Do all your work yourself.
(vii) Both likes and dislikes should be discarded and eschewed.
(vii) With attention focused on the first person and on the heart within, one should relentlessly practice ‘Who am I?’ During such practice, the mind might suddenly spring up; so you have to vigilantly
pursue the vichara ‘Who am I?’

Sri Ramana was a sarvajnani (all-knower). I got many proofs of it. My father gave me pocket-money of three annas a day. For that
amount I would buy sambrani (incense), which was burnt in a brazier in Bhagavan’s hall. One day I did not get the pocket money and therefore refrained from going to Bhagavan.

The next day, Bhagavan graciously remarked, “Yesterday you did not come because you could not get sambrani. Veneration in the heart is enough.”

My father was suddenly transferred to Vellore. None of us, particularly myself, wanted to leave Tiruvannamalai since darshan of Bhagavan would then be denied. We ventilated our grievance to Bhagavan.
He gave me a benign smile. A few days after, strangely, the transfer order was cancelled!

I noticed the strange way in which the doubts in one’s mind got answered. The doubt you had would mysteriously be got expressed by someone else in the hall to Bhagavan and He would not only give the
answer but look at you with a smile as if to say, ‘Has your doubt been cleared?’

Bhagavan would be seated like a rock with eyes open for hours together and silence would pervade the hall; and everyone’s heart would be filled with peace and stillness. This silence was His real teaching!

Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.G. Shanmukam.

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Habits create the false notion that thinking is a permanent institution, with which it is impossible to dispense, but enquiry and discrimination will blast this fallacy.

~ Guru Ramana, P.II, Ch.VIII.

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Solitude cannot efface one's thoughts.
Practice does it.

~ Talk 156

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*** In Search of the Divine World ***

When studying the Upanishads in my early days,
I always visualized the divine abode in the Sun god and
was performing the practices enjoined in certain texts.

Even later, after settling at the abode of Sri Maharshi,
I continued this practice (upasana).

It proved very hard to succeed in this process and
I had to undergo very trying experiences,
so I referred the whole matter to Bhagavan.

"So you want to go to the divine world?" asked he.

"That is what I am trying to obtain;
that is what the scriptures prescribe," I answered.

"But where are you now?" the Master asked.

I replied, "I am in your presence."

"Poor thing! You are here and now in the divine world,
and you want to obtain it elsewhere!

Know that to be the divine world
where one is firmly established in the Divine.
Such a one is full (purna);
he encompasses and transcends all that is manifest.

He is the substratum of the screen
on which the whole manifestation runs like the picture film.

Whether moving pictures run or not,
the screen is always there
and is never affected by the action of the pictures.

You are here and now in the divine world.

You are like a thirsty man wanting to drink,
while he is all the time standing neck deep in the Ganga.

Give up all efforts and surrender.
Let the 'I' that wants the divine world die,
and the Divine in you will be realised here and now.

For it is already in you as the Self,
not different from the Divine (Brahman),
nameless and formless.

It is already in you,
so how are you to obtain that which ever remains obtained?"

"The Self (atman) in you is surely not different from US."
Thus spoke Bhagavan.

~ T.K.Sundaresa Iyer, At the Feet of Bhagavan

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Anger
-----------
Yesterday a newly arrived youth told Bhagavan about the vagaries of his senses to which Bhagavan said, “All that is due to the mind. Set it right.”
“That is alright, Swami, but however much I try to reduce this anger, it comes on again and again. What shall I do?”

“Oh! Is that so, then get angry with that anger; it will be alright” said Bhagavan. All people in the hall burst out laughing. A person who gets angry with everything in the world, if only he introsepts, and enquires why he does not get angry with his anger itself, will he not really overcome all anger?

- Suri Nagamma, Letters from Sri Ramanashram, 26 Jan 1946

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When India was a British Colony, there were hundreds of kingdoms within India. The biggest kingdoms were Hyderabad and Mysore. The Maharaja (King) of Mysore had a devotional nature.

One day, the Maharaja of Mysore came secretly in the middle of the night to see Bhagavan Ramana and stayed until early morning. He wanted a private audience with Bhagavan. But Bhagavan ate in public and slept in public in the Hall. People were always around.

However, because it was the middle of the night, the Ashram management permitted him to see Bhagavan in the eight by eight foot bathroom where Bhagavan bathed. Upon seeing Bhagavan, the Maharaja fell at his feet, and wept so profusely that his tears drenched Bhagavan’s feet. The Maharaja then got up and said, “Bhagavan, they have made me king and forced me to sit on the throne. For this reason I am not able to come and stay with you and be in your presence. These few moments are most precious few in my whole life. After this, I will not be able to come. Please bless me.”

When Santhammal, a devotee, asked Bhagavan about the Maharaja's visit, Bhagavan just said, “He is a ripe soul.”

Bhagavan never encouraged people to give up their worldly obligations or duties. His advice to visitors was that one can gain the required purity, strength, and awareness to advance on the path regardless of one's station in life or geographical location. Whatever one wants to practice, devotional prayer, meditation, chanting, some form of yoga, or self-inquiry, all of these are good. Bhagavan often said that it is the not physical contact with the Guru that is important, but the mental and spiritual contact. Even a person who is no longer in the body can serve as a Guru, if we become connected and influenced by their thoughts and vibrations.

Adapted from Ramana Periya Puranam (278 Santhammal).
Posted by Harsh K. Luthar on Facebook

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NATESA IYER REMEMBERS BHAGAVAN’S CANCER OPERATION

Natesa Iyer served Bhagavan and devotees working as a cook at Sri Ramanasramam for years. The below is what he told Swami Ramanananda:

‘I was Bhagavan’s attendant,’ he would say, ‘when he had one of his cancer operations. In those few hours, I understood directly what Bhagavan meant when he said, “I am not the body”. His behavior throughout the operation showed very clearly that the body was just something that he was wearing. The flesh was being cut, blood was flowing, and I could see the radium needles that had been inserted into the flesh around the cancer. Bhagavan was fully conscious but utterly indifferent to the procedures that were being carried out on his arm. I was told afterwards that we were in the room with him for 2.5 – 3 hours, but while we were with him there was no awareness whatsoever of the passage of time. We were all consumed by the power of Bhagavan’s silence. Even the doctors were sucked into it. When the operation had been completed, the doctors spontaneously prostrated to Bhagavan.

‘One of them said, “I have operated on many people, but I have never had an experience like this. There is a peace in this room that I have never felt anywhere else. I cannot describe what it was like except to say that it was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.”

‘I think the doctor spoke for us all. Bhagavan, abiding untroubled and unconcerned in his natural state of silence, gave us all an immense blessing while he was being cut open by the medical team. It was an awesome display of power and grace that left me in tears.

‘After an operation like this, one would expect a patient to want quiet and rest, but Bhagavan showed a complete indifference to his body and to the advice of his medical team. Overruling the doctors and the ashram management, he announced that he wanted to give darshan to all the devotees who were waiting anxiously outside. As the people filed past him one by one, Bhagavan made inquiries about the health and well-being of the devotees but refused to talk about his own physical state. If people asked about his operation and the state of his health, he would smile but not give any answer.’

- 'The Power of the Presence', David Godman

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"Be Free like the sky. Be Still like the hill". ~ As shared by V. Ganesan in the Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi.

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Devotee : Does one who has realized the Self lose the sense of 'I' ?

Ramana Maharshi : Absolutely.

Devotee : Then there is no difference between yourself and myself, that man over there, my servant. Are all the same ?

Ramana Maharshi : All are the same, including those monkeys.

Devotee : But the monkeys are not people. Are they not different ?

Ramana Maharshi : They are exactly the same as people. All are the same in One Consciousness.

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Sage Ribhu and His disciple Nidagha - ‘I’ and ‘YOU’
-------------------------------------------------
An earnest devotee asked Sri Bhagavan about the method to realize the Self. As usual, Sri Bhagavan told him to find out who is the ‘I’ in his question. After a few more questions in this strain the devotee asked, “Instead of enquiring ‘Who am I?’, can I put the question to myself ‘Who are you?’ since then, my mind may be fixed on you whom I consider to be God in the form of Guru.”

Sri Bhagavan replied, “Whatever form your enquiry may take, you must finally come to the one ‘I’, the Self. All these distinctions made between ‘I’ and ‘you’, master and disciple, are merely a sign of one’s ignorance. That ‘I’ Supreme alone is. To think otherwise is to delude oneself.” Thereupon Sri Bhagavan told the following story.

A Puranic story of Sage Ribhu and his disciple Nidagha, is particularly instructive.

Although Ribhu taught his disciple the Supreme Truth of the One Brahman without a second, Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the path of Jnana, but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion.

But the sage, Ribhu, loved his disciple as deeply as the latter venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had outgrown his ritualism.

At times the sage went in disguise, so that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he did not know that he was being observed by his master. On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a village rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession.

Unrecognized by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the king was going in procession.

“Oh! It is the king. He goes in procession! But where is he?” asked the rustic.

“There, on the elephant,” said Nidagha.

“You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,” said the rustic, “But which the king is and which the elephant is?”

“What!” exclaimed Nidagha. “You see the two, but do not know that the man above is the king and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?”

“Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,” begged the rustic. “But you said ‘above’ and ‘below’ – what do they mean?”

Nidagha could stand it no more. “You see the king and the elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet you want to know what is meant by ‘above’ and ‘below’?” burst out Nidagha. “If things seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward and you will know it all too well”.

The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said, “Know it now. I am above as the king; you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough?”

“No, not yet,” was the rustic’s quiet reply. “You say that you are above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The ‘king’, the ‘elephant’, ‘above’ and ‘below’ – so far it is clear. But
pray tell me what you mean by ‘I’ and ‘you’?”

When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with the mighty problem of defining the ‘you’ apart from the ‘I’, light dawned on his mind.

At once he jumped down and fell at his Master’s feet saying, “Who else but my venerable Master, Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! Benign Master, I crave thy blessings.”

- Stories Ramana Told

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Tonics for All Alike
--------------------------------
Once Dr. Ramachandra Rao, an Ayurvedic physician, made out a long list of herbs and ingredients and showed it to Bhagavan. Bhagavan carefully perused it and commented on the value of each of the herbs, and obediently asked, “For whom is this medicine, my dear man?” The kindly doctor said, “For Sri Bhagavan himself.” On hearing that, Bhagavan said, “No doubt you have given me a long list of items but where am I to get the money to pay for them? It could cost Rs. 10/- and whom am I to approach for it?”

Someone quietly said, looking around at the Ashram property, “Whose is all this, Swamiji?”

“Yes, but what have I? If I want a quarter anna, I must go and ask the Sarvadhikari. How should I go and ask him? He gives me a little food, if I go there as soon as the bell rings.”

The physician humbly volunteered to pay for the medicines himself. Bhagavan said, “Oh yes? You will get them? But if that medicine is good for me, it must necessarily be good for all the others here. Can you give it to them as well?”

Others in the hall quickly picked up on Bhagavan’s line of argument and made soft protests: “Why do we want it, Swamiji?” Bhagavan replied, “If people who do physical work don’t need a body-building tonic, how is that I who merely sits here and eats should need one? That can’t be!”

The doctor said, “Bhagavan always declines everything that is offered, but if he agrees to take something, won’t it be forthcoming? Or if not medicines, why not take some nutritious food such as milk, fruit and almonds?”

Bhagavan replied, “I am a daridranarayana (God in the form of the poor and the destitute). How can I afford it? Besides, mine is a large family. How can all of them have milk, fruit and almonds?”

- Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 29th November, 1945

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Some people think that there are different stages in jnana. The Self is nitya aparoksha, i.e., ever-realized, knowingly or unknowingly.

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Once the private secretary to the Governor of Pondicherry came to the Ashram with a long list of questions written in an elaborate, complex style of French. Handing over the paper to Bhagavan, he sat on the window sill opposite the couch. Finding the questions in French, Bhagavan asked me to translate them.

As I was struggling with word-by-word translation and was finding the French difficult to translate, Bhagavan said, “That’s not necessary, just tell me the gist.” I scanned the questions and told Bhagavan that he really didn’t want oral answers but rather in the form of an experience.

Bhagavan paused for a moment, and then slowly turned his face in the direction of the questioner and rested eyes on him. After about 30 seconds, I noticed the man’s body trembling and shaking all over.

Then he blurted out, “Oh no, Bhagavan, not now! Please, Bhagavan, not now!” I was standing at the side of Bhagavan, watching this extraordinary scene and wondering what a being this Bhagavan was. He was a storehouse of power, yet so kind, gentle and compassionate.

- N. Balarama Reddy, My Reminiscences

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If you go by the way of your thoughts you will be carried away by them and you will find yourself in an endless maze.

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A group of people came on a visit to Sri Bhagavan. One of them asked: “How can I keep my mind aright?”
M.: A refractory bull is lured to the stall by means of grass. Similarly the mind must be lured by good thoughts.
D.: But it does not remain steady.
M.: The bull accustomed to stray takes delight in going astray. However he must be lured with luscious grass to the stall. Even so he will continue to trespass into the neighbour’s fields. He must gradually be made to realise that the same kind of good grass can be had in his own place. After a time he will remain in the stall without straying. Later a time will come when, even if driven out of the stall, he will return to the stall without going into the neighbouring fields. So also the mind must be trained to take to right ways. It will gradually grow accustomed to good ways and will not return to wrong ways.
D.: What are the good ways to be shown to the mind?
M.: Thought of God.

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The mind always seeks
external knowledge,
leaving aside knowledge about itself.

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Only he is a Jnani whose mind does not get agitated, who does not identify with and desire objects before him, and whose state of purity never shakes whether he lives on alms in poverty or enjoys the illusory state of being Brahma (demi God)

- Sorupa Saram, verse 89

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One day some new born squirrels had fallen out of their nest and landed on Ramana’s couch. Their eyes were still closed and they were very tiny. The mother, however, did not take them back. But how should one feed such tiny things? The squirrels laid in Ramana’s palm. His face was glowing with love and affection towards them. The devotees looked on helplessly, but he was happy and cheerful. He asked for some cotton and made a soft bed for them.Then he took a piece of the cotton, rolled it up so that the end looked like a sharp needle, dipped it into some milk and trickled it in their tiny mouths. This he did repeatedly. He looked after them with great care and love until they grew up and started running around. They did not run away, however, but always ran around their ‘mother’.

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One day a few squirrels came on to Bhagavan's sofa for their share of cashew nuts. The nuts in the tin, which used to be near Bhagavan, had been exhausted. Therefore, Bhagavan instead gave peanuts, but the squirrels would not eat them. They refused to eat and began to express their discontent in all possible ways. Bhagavan cajoled them. "We don't have cashew nuts my dears. What to do?" he said, but they could not be appeased. The squirrels showed their displeasure by crawling over the legs and hands of Bhagavan continuously.

Seeing their plight, Bhagavan asked his attendant Krishnaswami to go and find out if there was any stock of cashew nuts in the store room. Krishnaswami went to the kitchen and returned with a few cashew nuts. "Is that all?" asked Bhagavan looking at the cashew nuts.

Krishnaswami said, "Tonight, cooks are preparing payasam and they said that they can spare only this much."

Bhagavan was annoyed and said, "I see, payasam will not be less tasty if the cashew are a little less in quantity than usual. What a pity! These squirrels do not like anything else, and they are worrying me. The store keepers have declined to give cashew nuts saying that they will have to put them in the payasam. Who will be worried if there are no cashew nuts in the payasam? See how these children are worrying themselves for want of cashew nuts!" With that, the cashew nuts which should have gone to payasam went into the stomachs of the squirrels and also into the tin by the side for future feeding of the squirrels.

The same evening Dr. Ananthanarayana Rao, a devotee of Bhagavan brought from Madras 2 viss (about 2.7 kg) of cashew nuts, saying he had brought them for the squirrels. With a smile, Bhagavan said to Krishnaswami, the attendant, "Look at this! They are earning whatever they want. There is no need to beg anybody. These cashew nuts are squirrel's property. Keep them carefully. Note that they should not be given to the store room"

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Mr. Mac Iver, a resident devotee, asked Bhagavan if he might go to Switzerland where a Guru was inviting him.

Sri Bhagavan said: Some force brought him here and the same force is taking him to Europe. Let him always remember the world is only the projection of the mind and the mind is in the Self. Wherever the body may move the mind must be kept under control. The body moves, but not the Self. The world is within the Self, that is all.

- Talk 514

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All your cares are His.
Such is surrender.

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The Experience of Enlightenment

You can feel yourself one with the One that exists. The whole body becomes a mere power, a force-current. Your life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet and as you go deeper and deeper, you become a mere centre and then not even that, for you become a mere Consciousness; there are no thoughts or cares any longer- they were shattered at the threshold- it is an inundation. You, a mere straw, are swallowed alive, but it is very delightful, for you become the very thing that swallows you. This is the union of jiva with Brahman, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood and the attainment of Truth.

~ Ramana Maharshi ( From 'Satdarshana Bhashya and Talks, p 21)

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As long as a man is the doer, he also reaps the fruit of his deeds, but, as soon as he realizes the Self through enquiry as to who is the doer his sense of being the doer falls away and the triple karma is ended. This is the state of eternal Liberation.

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To a devotee who was praying that
she should have more frequent visions
of Siva, Bhagavan said,
“Surrender to Him and
abide by His Will,
whether He appears or disappears;
await His pleasure....
If you ask Him to do as you like
it is not surrender but command to God... You cannot have Him obey you
and yet think you have surrendered....
He knows what is best and
when and how to do it....
His is the burden....
You have no longer any cares....
All your cares are His....
Such is surrender....
That is bhakti..."

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